October 18, 2021

Booster shots outpacing new COVID-19 vaccinations in Indiana

FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a temporary clinic in Exeter, N.H. - AP Photo/Charles Krupa

FILE - This Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo shows vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at a temporary clinic in Exeter, N.H.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Far more Indiana residents have been receiving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots than getting new vaccinations since those shots became available last month.

The Indiana Health Department added booster shots given to its daily tracking of vaccine distribution. That tracking shows that over the past three weeks nearly 60% of the shots administered were booster shots to people who were previously fully vaccinated.

The push for boosters kicked off in September after the Food and Drug Administration authorized third doses of the Pfizer vaccine for seniors and younger adults with health problems, jobs or living conditions that place them at higher risk from the coronavirus. Federal officials are now considering also approving booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The higher number of COVID-19 booster shots in Indiana comes as the state’s pace of people receiving their first or second doses to become fully vaccinated has fallen to its lowest level since the vaccines became available last winter.

Indiana has consistently trailed the national vaccination rates, ranking 14th lowest in the country with 49% of all residents fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Indiana officials have recorded 16,245 deaths involving confirmed or presumed COVID-19 infections.

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